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How the Foundation works

The Foundation decides where it wishes to create centres for teaching Chinese and then approaches schools that it thinks may be suitable to run them.

School selection criteria

We do not wish to be prescriptive as to what such centres may look like and how they may operate, and accept that there will be variation from centre to centre depending on local circumstances.  We are open to creative and innovative ideas.

However, we will be looking for as many of the following attributes as possible from the hosting schools:

  • Commitment and enthusiasm of the head and support from the governors
  • Capability of management to run the project
  • Suitable physical resources
  • Experience in outreach and of working with local schools
  • Ability to reach secondary, primary and possibly nursery pupils
  • Capability to make Chinese a core-curriculum subject
  • Provision of in-house and external training schemes for teachers
  • Willingness to offer placements for trainee teachers of Chinese, studying for PGCE or similar

If schools are interested, we ask these schools to submit a formal proposal to the trustees, outlining how they would best run a centre. In exceptional circumstances, the trustees are willing to consider proposals put forward on a school’s own initiative.

Proposal assessment

In assessing proposals, we will be considering issues such as:

  • How many pupils and schools and in which years, will be reached and in what time frame
  • Level of funding required
  • What plans are there to bring the subject into the schools’ curriculum
  • How and when will the centre be sustained without external funding
  • How will logistical and timetabling issues be addressed
  • Potential for the project to raise the aspirations of pupils from deprived backgrounds
  • Staffing requirements
  • How and from where will teachers be recruited
  • Approach to pedagogy
  • How will Chinese be taught from an introductory level through to A level in a continuum
  • What assessment process (in house and public) will be in place
  • How will technology be used to support teaching
  • What plans are there for teachers and pupils to visit China
  • Proposed measures of success and targets

The Foundation supports the creation and running of centres for teaching Chinese, by funding teachers’ salaries and training, pupils’ trips to China, administration and technology. We expect all the schools and universities involved in the centres to become self-sufficient and aim to support them up to that point.

To date we have received considerably more interest than expected in our programme. We only see this increasing as the reach of the programme increases and more students travel to China to use the language and see the culture first-hand.

Mike McGarry – Associate Principal, The Belvedere Academy

“The Swire Chinese Language Foundation have been extremely supportive but at no time have they tried to impose a certain model of delivery nor have they been prescriptive in any way. Rather, they have encouraged us a Swire Centre to adopt an approach which is most suitable and that will work in our context.”